Bolduc, Daly Lead Field in the National Truck Driving Championship

Roland Bolduc (left) and John Somers II’s Ina Daly for transportation themes

(Stay tuned for transfer news: Get TTNews in your inbox.)

They make an interesting pair of friendly competitors.

He is the charismatic reigning national champion. She is responsible for mental tasks.

His domain takes center stage — “the big table,” as he calls it. Solitude exists only in the quietness of the driving path.

Although they differ in style and personality, Roland Bolduc of FedEx Express and Ina Daly of XPO have a lot in common: The two sexes owe their parents a lifelong appreciation for trucking. They began their competitive career in precision driving over three decades ago. They are widely recognized as a major competitor in National Truck Driving Championships National Truck Driving Championships.

This month, Bolduc and Daly will be among more than 400 drivers from around the country ready to showcase their talents at the American Truck Association’s 86th annual “Super Bowl of Safety” on August 16-19 in Columbus, Ohio.

After winning the Sleeper Vehicle class in Connecticut this summer, Bolduc will return to the Summer Classic as the defending National Champion. In 2017 and 2022, Bolduc captured the NTDC Grand Championship title.

Daly with her 2013 National Tank Truck Award. (John Somers II for Transportation Topics)

Daly, a consistent finalist in the NTDC, is the only woman to win a national title. In 2013, it earned top honors in the tank truck division.

The talented trucking couple says they are ready for another chance to showcase their skills alongside colleagues and friends. They are in strong positions to each make their way back to the winner’s podium. Betting on their tremendous competitive qualities, and experience on their side.

As for Bolduc, he’s spent most of his weekends at his training space called the “Roadeo Research and Development Facility.” Outside of work and family commitments, most Saturdays were dominated by preparation and study. An enthusiastic ambassador for the tournament, he expressed his excitement about the upcoming event.

“It feels good to win again and to come again, you know,” Bolduc said at his state championship in June. “You never know your ticket is punched until it’s actually punched.”

“The Truck Driving Championships mean a lot to these drivers who have been around for a long time,” he affirmed.

Earlier this year, Daly, who will again compete in the tanker class, took top honors at the Arizona Truck Driving Championships. Reflecting on the moment, she told TT that the competition is “about making you a better truck driver and making you proud of what you do for a living.”

Daly continued, “It’s very important that we share what we’ve learned over the years and try to get younger drivers involved. Because, as I said, it’s ultimately about improving safety, making truck drivers better, and making people want to stay in the industry.”

field

At the NTDC, drivers will test their talents in nine car classes as they strive for a national title. Best bid among all classes (eg straight, 3-axle, 4-axle, 5-axle, sleeper, hauler, twin, flatbed, grader) is awarded an overall Bendix Grand Champion award.

NTDC 2023

Road to the 2023 National Truck Driving Championship

NTDC Qualifiers | State Photo Gallery | State champions map

from: Winners from nine statewide categories who apply for the national competition, where the Grand Champion will be crowned

What: Contestants are judged based on a written exam, pre-flight check, and driving skills

when: August 16-19

where: Columbus, Ohio

Joining Bolduc and Daly in pursuit of a national title is a cadre of elite drivers. Other top NTDC drivers to watch include Rhode Island’s Joe Hicks with XPO and Wisconsin’s Jeffrey Langenhan with XPO. Langenhan captured the grand slam title in 2014. Additional top competitors include Oregon’s Dan Shamrill with FedEx Freight, Connecticut’s Anthony Spiro with ABF Freight, Colorado’s Paul Swan with FedEx Freight, Louisiana’s Eric Courville with FedEx Freight, and Michael Beals of North Carolina with FedEx Express and New Jersey’s. Lorenso Ramos with XPO.

Ramos told TT shortly after his performance as Grand Champion at Garden State in June. He qualified for the Nationals on the Truck Straight section.

“I believe with the dedication and practice I put in on the weekends, in my time… I prepare myself well for (NTDC),” explained Swan, the Centennial State Grand Champion in the three-axle truck.

Spiro credited God for giving him the fortitude to overtake Bolduc and his other peers on his way to Grand Champion performance in the state constitution this summer. Compete in the tanker division. As last year’s recipient of the National Championship’s Neil Darmstadter Award for Career Excellence, Spiro told TT he intends to “hit it hard” in the NTDC “just like I trained in (the states).”

“(NTDC) is a year-round state of mind for me,” Shamrill told TTT. He won a major championship at Beaver State in Axle IV competition. Like Spero, he was also awarded the tournament’s Professional Excellence Award. “It’s kind of very focused on safety and it’s a great reminder. And can you imagine if everyone had the same intense focus on safety on the road. We would have some great roads out there.”

This year, the tournament will feature nine competitors, two shy of the record for most women set in 2014 and tied in 2022. In addition to Daly, Karen Tierney of Massachusetts qualified with FedEx Express in the 3-axle class. After winning her score in the state competition, Tierney exclaims, “I’m going to the Nationals!” A fixture in the NTDC since the ’90s, its game plan leading into the Nationals is as simple as it gets: “Study and Practice.”

NTDC Organizing Committee Chairman Rodney Myers promoted with FedEx Freight the contributions of this year’s qualifiers. In addition to winning their car class at the state championships, racers must also maintain a one-year accident-free driving record.

“I just want to wish each and every one of them good luck, regardless of whether they ranked first in their class or last place in their class. That’s not what it’s about,” he said. “It’s about the representation they do on a day-to-day basis, the service they provide to all of these carriers on a day-to-day basis, and our impact on the industry as a whole.”

Revival coordination

For the tournament itself, Myers plans to enhance the audience experience as well as continue to embrace normalcy. Last year saw the championship return in person after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

By meeting in person, Myers expects displays of enthusiasm from colleagues, volunteers, and attendees. “This year, everything will go back to normal. So the competition will start on Wednesday. They will drive on Thursday and Friday, and then the finals on Saturday,” Myers confirmed, adding that the awards ceremony will be a little more traditional as a banquet-style event.

In the competition, professional drivers must accumulate points within the first two days. Points stem from a written examination of federal rules and regulations, sharpness during a vehicle’s safety check known as a pre-flight and its precise maneuvers on a timed obstacle course. On the third day, the top five artists from each class advance to the final round. The best drivers in each category after the finals are awarded a national title. The blue ribbon is awarded to the grand champion of event form.

Spectators at NTDC 2022 in Indianapolis. Fans tend to congregate in cheery sections by trucking company. (John Somers II for Transportation Topics)

About 3,000 people are expected to attend the upcoming safety ceremony. Family, friends and fans are encouraged to stay for the duration of the competition. Rick Keats, a permanent member of the NTDC Organizing Committee, explained that the crowds provide invaluable support to the competitors. “We encourage families and company representatives to come and support the contestants and be in the stands at the finals on Saturday,” he said.

In conjunction with the NTDC Championships, the The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance will host the North American Inspectors Championshipor NAIC. The Inspectors Challenge consists of law enforcement agencies that test their knowledge and experience of commercial transportation rules and regulations. Similar to the NTDC, an overall winner will be crowned, as well as the top performers from the various individual categories.

“NAIC was created to learn about inspectors and officers — the backbone of the North American Commercial Vehicle Safety Program — and to promote standardization of inspections through training and education,” according to background information about the event.

Officials from ATA, the US Department of Transportation, shipping companies, and government agencies and associations are scheduled to attend. Sponsors include Amazon Freight Partner, UPS, ABF Freight, FedEx, Old Dominion Freight Line, Pitt Ohio, PrePass, DHL, Walmart, XPO, Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems, RB Stewart Petroleum Products Inc.

Do you want more news? Listen to the daily recap below or go here for more information:

(tags for translation) 2023 NTDC

Leave a Comment